H.E. Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations and UN Friends of Vision co-chair with K-T Overbey, OneSight’s president and executive director.
NEW YORK—In events and communications that spanned the world, World Sight Day 2021, yesterday, Oct, 14, enabled many eyecare professionals, companies, NGOs and volunteer organizations to contribute to a crescendo of messaging about the importance of preserving sight with annual sight tests and advancing the need to provide access to more than one billion people around the world suffering from preventable vision loss. Yesterday, to mark the day, key United Nations (UN) diplomats joined together with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and Global World Sight Day partner OneSight, for a special sight screening.

A landmark UN Resolution “Vision for Everyone; accelerating action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” was passed earlier this year, as VMAIL reported in July. UN Friends of Vision co-chair H.E. Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations had her own sight tested on World Sight Day. “On World Sight Day, Ireland’s message is that eye health has the power to unlock human potential. We know that poor eye health is both a cause of and effect of inequality for women, children, older people and those with disabilities. We know that giving a child eyeglasses can dramatically impact  the quality of education they can access. We know that eye health directly impacts the ability of many to access decent work, and contribute to economic growth.," she said.
Byrne Nason continued, "Ireland is proud to be a Co-Chair of the UN Group of Friends of Vision here in New York along with Antigua and Barbuda and Bangladesh. The Vision for Everyone Resolution was adopted in New York in the UN General Assembly this year with the co-sponsorship of 115 UN Member States. This resolution highlighted that eye health is not only an important discussion in the field of health, but is also highly relevant to achieving gender equality, quality education, zero hunger, and economic growth.” 
Added OneSight president and executive director, K-T Overbey, "For more than 30 years, OneSight has worked toward creating a world where access to vision care is no longer a barrier to human achievement and potential. The recent adoption of the UN resolution on vision has marked a pivotal moment for the expansion of vision care access globally. We feel very fortunate that the critical importance of clear sight is being recognized on such a large scale. At OneSight we recognize that the only way we will truly solve the global vision care crisis is through strong partnerships with dedicated vision care supporters all around the world.”


At NYC's Brooklyn Bridge, OneSight's team worked with guest Ava Thomas, National American Miss New Jersey Jr. Teen, and an official OneSight Junior Glasses Champion, who attended the screening to highlight the importance of vision care.
In addition, as part of the World Sight Day #LoveYourEyes campaign, a group of leading global vision organizations involved with the IAPB initiative including OneSight, launched a global landmark activation to host eye checks at some of the most recognizable landmarks around the world. As part of the global landmark activation, OneSight hosted a vision screening at the highly recognizable Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York. More than three million #LoveYourEyes pledges were received by IAPB, a spokesperson told VMAIL.
Special guest, Ava Thomas, National American Miss New Jersey Jr. Teen, and an official OneSight Junior Glasses Champion, attended the screening to highlight the importance of vision care. “While these landmarks represent some of the most recognizable sights in the world, more than 1 billion people globally lack the ability to see them clearly,” said  Overbey. "This vision care gap can hold individuals back from education, employment and the ability to achieve their full potential.”

Alcon, a global leader in vision care, also celebrated World Sight Day by taking action in communities across the globe to raise awareness of blindness and vision impairment as global public health issues. Alcon’s Children’s Vision Program, where Alcon associates and partners are delivering free, custom, prescription eyeglasses to nearly 200 Texas students who participated in recent vision care screenings and exams hosted at school as part of this year’s program.

EYElliance, a multi-sector coalition that aims to increase access to eyeglasses at scale, and its National Eye Health Initiative in Liberia, hosted a webinar, moderated by Alcon U.S. Vision Care general manager Sean Clark for Alcon associates worldwide, discussing the organization’s progress and learnings in the country, as well as plans to expand its impact by partnering with the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

The Steps for Sight Challenge, invited 2,020 Alcon associates from across the globe to take 5,000 steps on World Sight Day to raise a total of $25,000 for eyecare organizations, including Orbis and VisionSpring. Alcon Geneva associates will focus the day on learning more about eye health, including onsite vision screenings with one of Alcon’s in-house Swiss-registered optometrists. They will also participate in learning sessions about Alcon sight-enhancing surgical equipment and vision care products.

Alcon the Fireworks was held on the evening of October 10 in Inzai City, Chiba Prefecture, in honor of Japan Sight Day. The fireworks event was held to educate people about the “20-20-20 rule” (look at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes when using a digital device). As an advocate for eye health around the world, Alcon, through its two charitable foundations, Alcon Cares and Alcon Foundation, continues to provide support to people in communities around the world who are experiencing eye health issues including, cataracts, refractive errors, corneal blindness and more.
“Our eyes are one of our most important and intricate organs. Yet, they’re often not at the top of the list in terms of people’s health care priorities,” said David J. Endicott, CEO, Alcon. “Just imagine if one day you could no longer see your loved ones or participate in your favorite activities because of a preventable eye disease. Alcon is committed to educating people around the world about the importance of regular eyecare as well as directly supporting access to eyecare through the Alcon Foundation and Alcon Cares, in order to help people see brilliantly.”
For more information on Alcon’s commitment to expanding global eyecare access during World Sight Day and beyond visit alcon.com/about-us/corporate-social-responsibility.

EssilorLuxottica and EVF teamed up to host a two-day vision clinic. 
On World Sight Day and throughout October, the Essilor Vision Foundation and its partners are focusing on providing vision care to people in need through on-site vision events as well as programs and incentives designed to support eye doctors’ charitable efforts.

EssilorLuxottica and EVF teamed up to host a two-day vision clinic for more than 150 students at a middle school near their Dallas headquarters. Former Dallas Cowboys  player Danny McCray, team mascot Rowdy, and two members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were on hand to play games and visit with the students. This is the fourth year EVF has partnered with the Cowboys, and their involvement during World Sight Day always makes it a special day for students.

Walman Optical is encouraging customers to select a date in October to host a vision event and to enroll in EVF’s Changing Life Through Lenses program to provide free glasses to charitable patients. Walman also supports EVF through its Kids With a Vision program. For every pair of digitally surfaced lenses treated with non-glare treatment produced by Walman Optical labs purchased by participating eyecare professionals through Dec. 31, 2021, Walman will donate $5 to EVF. More than $250,000 has been raised to date.

Triangle Visions Optometry's 24 locations in North and South Carolina are focusing on hosting charitable vision clinics for underserved individuals in their communities. All of the practices are currently raising money for kids in need of critical vision care through EVF’s See Kids Soar program and have raised more than $15,000.

During the month of October, Foxfire Systems Group is offering a $50 statement credit to OD practices that enroll in See Kids Soar and use Foxfire’s software. Existing Foxfire users that sign up for See Kids Soar in October will get the $50 statement credit, and new clients that sign on with Foxfire and enroll in See Kids Soar during the month will also receive the credit. In addition, OpenEdge, the company that processes credit card donations, is matching Foxfire’s credit with an additional $50.

“EVF believes it takes a community to deliver vital vision care to everyone who needs it,” said Becky Palm, EVF president and executive director. “Thanks to our generous partners, many people around the country celebrated World Sight Day by receiving life-changing eye exams and glasses.”